Simple On-Line Training For Complex Topics

July 25, 2018 Rich Nass

Interested in deep learning and neural nets? How about Ada and/or Spark? As you know, pretty much everything is available on the ‘net, but sometimes it’s not so easy to find. That’s why I’m here to help you out.

First, I came across this learning video: What is a Neural Network? It’s brought to you by 3Blue1Brown. Chapter 1 is less than 20 minutes, but it’s time well spent if you’re a newbie and need a starting point. The instructor takes a complex topic and makes it look extremely elementary

A friend who took this course said, “I like to visualize things rather than just take the professor’s word for it and apply the concepts blindly. These are things I struggled with years back and the instructor makes it fun and interesting.”

A second learning portal comes thanks to AdaCore, which just launched its new platform at The goal of the platform is to provide a better online learning experience for the Ada and SPARK programming languages. This site is designed for individuals, but it’s al;so useful for teams or teachers looking for training or tutorial material based on Ada/SPARK. consists of text-based, interactive content to ease the learning experience. The biggest benefit of this approach is the flexibility in how you advance through the course. It lets the user pick and choose from the course material with the ability to move to more advanced sections but then refer back to previous content when needed.

Greater interactivity is provided through code snippets embedded in a widget that lets you compile, run, and prove your code directly from the Web browser. Hence, you can experiment with the tools without having to install them.

Initially, there are two courses, an introduction to Ada and an introduction to SPARK, as well as an ebook, Ada for the C++ or Java Developer. AdaCore plans to add advanced Ada and SPARK courses and a dedicated course on embedded programming.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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